I never wrote a review of Dave Black’s Christian Archy (although I did interact with one point in my post “Defining Church“). This post will not be a review either. Instead, I want to point out something that the author said that is very important, very powerful, and unfortunately often lacking:
If a model is needed, why not limit ourselves to Jesus? Why should the New Testament constantly appealÂ to the example of his followers, whether Timothy (Phil. 2:19-24), Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30), Paul (Phil. 2:17-18), or any number of other paradigmatic figures? The answer appears to be that, so far as the imitation of Christ is concerned, we humans are deeply affected by the lives of men and women whose generous and charitable character alert us to the real meaning of love. (28)
I would add that we’re also deeply affected by the lives of men and women whose character does not alert us to the real meaning of love. That’s right… we can talk about Christ and his love all we want… but people will continually follow our deeds and our way of life, not our words. They will become what they see more than what they hear. (Of course, the Holy Spirit can always lead someone away from our negative examples, thank God!)
Examples… we’re all examples. What kind of examples are we? How are we “deeply affecting” others?